Pittsfield rescinds redistricting plan for city's wards

Posted: Jan. 16, 2013 10:53 am Updated: Feb. 6, 2013 1:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- The Pittsfield City Council continued to move forward Tuesday with annexations tied to a proposed tax increment financing district and rescinded a ward redistricting plan.

The plan adopted Jan. 2 redrew the city's four wards, making the most changes in Wards 1 and 4 due to population shifts, with plans to use the new map for the upcoming municipal elections.

City Clerk Cindy Prentice said the ordinance needed to be passed 30 days before the first filing day for municipal election petitions, but it was not, and the new map also had three wards in one precinct.

"To avoid further complications, we rescinded it and will rework it later," Prentice said.

Prentice said the change won't affect any candidates who already filed for municipal offices.

"Everybody that filed was OK. They were OK where they live, and they had enough signatures to still qualify," Prentice said.

The city's next opportunity to redistrict wards will come in two years, prior to the next municipal election.

Aldermen also gave first reading and final approval to ordinances annexing property owned by Fred and Leila Stickman and Edgewood Farms LLC near the new water plant. Both properties are on the north side of U.S. 54/Ill. 106 in the area targeted for the new TIF.

The new district will connect with the city's existing TIF district near the Lowry Motel, then will continue west along U.S. 54 past the water plant at Underwood Corners and take in area on both sides of the highway. Several of the properties in the area already are in the city limits, but more could be added.

TIF districts set a "base value" for property in their boundaries, then any increment, or any increase in property values from improvements, goes into a separate fund for 23 year to provide incentives for more improvement projects or local match money for grants.